Multi-layered labor: Entrepreneurship and professional versatility in rock climbing

Abstract : This article provides a detailed analysis of the labor of professional rock climbers. It focuses on a mode of multi-layered labor contrasting with the traditional allocation of tasks among workers, i.e. the division of labor. It is argued that, while multi-layered labor emerges in markets with low economic circulation and weak organization, it also reflects how professional versatility is at the heart of the mode of production of value in these labor markets. Indeed, producing value for climbing companies as a climber is anchored in a strong professional versatility. Based on multi-sites and digital fieldwork with professional rock climbers, media producers and the climbing industry, the argument is developed by drawing on an account of the journey of a professional climber. Ultimately, this article is an invitation to question the self-explanatory nature of professional categories to highlight the multiple facets of labor commonly hidden behind the term "professional".
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Submitted on : Wednesday, October 23, 2019 - 2:46:26 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, November 19, 2019 - 2:38:33 AM

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  • HAL Id : hal-02329231, version 1

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Guillaume Dumont. Multi-layered labor: Entrepreneurship and professional versatility in rock climbing. Ethnography, 2016, 17 (4), pp.440-459. ⟨hal-02329231⟩

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